Splatoon Ranked Modes: How the Splatoon Ranks Work

It might seem bizarre to some, but Splatoon actually is a competitive title. It first launched back in 2017 on the Nintendo Switch and it was immediately designed to be competitive, boasting a third-person shooter mechanic that switched out bullets for ink. It’s a popular title, and it actually comes equipped with an assortment of intense multiplayer modes. Whether you’re new to the game or an inky veteran, we’re going to spend a few minutes going over the Splatoon ranked modes.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about the Splatoon 2 ranking system.

Switching It Up


When you hear the term ‘esports’, you’ll most likely end up picturing CSGO, League of Legends, or perhaps even Call of Duty. Well, technically, an ‘esport’ is simply anything competitive played out on a digital platform – so Splatoon 2 definitely counts. It was back in 2015 that the first Splatoon title graced consoles – WiiU consoles, actually – and since then, it has become a much-loved Nintendo franchise.

Today, Splatoon 2 is one of the few competitive franchises on the Nintendo Switch that actually caters for an esports scene. It’s joined by the likes of Mario Kart and Super Smash, but admittedly, the Nintendo esports scene is a little lacking. Is that a bad thing? No – that’s not really what the Nintendo Switch exists for. In the last five years or so that the Splatoon ranked modes have existed, we have seen esports tournaments surfacing, but they tend to boast very small audiences and rather tiny prize pools.

Unfortunately, given the demographic, age rating of the game, and the availability of tournaments in general, there are no esports betting markets for Splatoon.

Splatoon 2 Ranking System

Splatoon 2 is the home for all the ‘colorful inky action’ you can handle, and it serves as the competitive foundation for the Splatoon scene.

If you want to establish yourself as a strong contender in the Splatoon 2 space, you’ll need to be looking to the Ranked Battle Modes. These include the likes of:

  • Splat Zones
  • Tower Control
  • Rainmaker
  • Clam Blitz

Generally, most players will find themselves enjoying ‘Turf War’, the core multiplayer mode within Splatoon. Once you’ve reached level ten in Turf War, you can push your skills even further and jump into one of these more competitive modes. Fortunately, the Splatoon 2 ranking system is relatively forgiving, and it works simply by using a lettered ranking format. For instance, you’ll start out at C- and eventually work your way up to rank at A+.

It’s designed to be a fun, relatively casual competitive experience, which immediately sets it apart from other esports titles. When you first jump in and start exploring the Splatoon 2 ranks, you’ll notice the ever-changing environment present in the game. Once every two hours, the chosen ‘stage’ will rotate out, giving players access to an all-new mode featuring a different assortment of maps. It’s a great way of keeping the game fresh and forcing players to adapt to the ever-changing landscape.

Of course, if you play enough, you’ll get used to all of them.

Once a month, however, ranks and stages will be reset, to ensure nobody sits at the top of the table for too long. This is a common enough mechanic in ranked modes, and it’s designed to keep players coming back for more.

Future of Splatoon Esports

So, that’s the assortment of the Splatoon ranked modes, but where does it go from here?

Well, on September 9th, 2022, Splatoon 3 will launch, exclusive to Nintendo Switch. It’ll boast upgraded customisation options, all-new maps, and a bunch of brand new weapons. There’s a different theme present in Splatoon 3, which will see players step into broader, more open environments, such as a sprawling city and an apocalyptic desert scene. While Splatoon 3 follows a similar formula to Splatoon 2, there are expectations that many more changes are yet to be seen.

In terms of multiplayer, we’ve already seen that the classic 4v4 competitive arenas are alive and raring to go. If we look at the Splatoon ranked modes that exist now, it seems highly likely that many, if not all of them, will make a reappearance in Splatoon 3. It could mean a kick in the butt for the Splatoon esports scene, but we’d definitely guess that it’ll stay niche and relatively quiet. However, if you build a competitive game, the professional players will certainly come – everybody wants to be good at something.

Ultimately, that’s the breakdown of the Splatoon ranked modes, and we can expect more to come later in 2022. It’s an exciting time for all those inky fans out there.